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Feb. 7, 2011

PHOENIX — It’s time to warm up a really cold case: the murder of two 19-year-old women back on May 27, 1996.

Jennifer Leuth and Diana Shawcroft were roommates. Jenni had moved to Phoenix to help Diana, who was going through a tough time.

“Jenni grew up here in Colorado, as did Diana,” said Jen’s mom, Deb. “Both went to school together since elementary school.”

She said her daughter had found a job and was checking out college in the Valley.

“Jenni’s dreams and aspirations would probably lean toward animal care or humane society-type work,” her mother said. “She loved animals, she loved to shop. We would call her queen of shopping. She was really witty, really smart. She really was a caring, compassionate, generous girl.”

The night Jenni and Diana disappeared, they had walked to a convenience store near 59th Avenue and Camelback Road to pick up a few things. They stood in the parking lot for a while, talking, until a guy in a faded blue pickup pulled up. They left with him.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Darren Birch said, “More than likely, they knew the person they went with in the vehicle. Again, this is a faded blue pickup truck and the composite is of the person that was with them the last time they were seen alive.”

Birch said the girls’ bodies were found by hunters in a remote area north of Cordes Junction.

He said, “These cases are best suited for Silent Witness in the sense that someone out there in the community knew these girls, knew this guy in the faded pickup truck and is aware of what happened to them.”

If you have information about this case, call 480-WITNESS or long on to silentwitness.org.